"A range of artists and themes in a cool space. There's an authentic history here that is refreshing, beautiful and community. I connected."  –Diane Ponder

WMG Fiscal Year 2020 in Review . . . Thank You!

As WMG’s fiscal year is ending on June 30, 2020, we wanted to reach out to you, our supporters and members. These last months since March have been hard on everyone. For the first time in 28 years, we had to cancel an opening reception, and programs in place for spring and summer had to be postponed. The pandemic has made an impact on all of us and our work.
Despite these trying times, WMG has continued to thrive. So many of you supported us when the annual gala was canceled, for which we are grateful. In January 2020, the WMG Board hired a new executive director, Gaylon B. Alcaraz, and together with gallery coordinator Marta Kowalska-Porcz, gallery assistant Keyana Scott, and a devoted board of directors, WMG is on a strong path to weather the challenges we are facing.
This fiscal year, we were able to host eight inspiring juried group exhibitions showing works by 522 artists, several pop-up events, five wonderful poetry readings where 33 poets read from their work, and other events including “Art After Dark” and gallery talks presented by Carron Little and Dorothy Straughter. In addition, WMG participated in SOFA Chicago, highlighting the work of select member artists. After the stay-at-home order, we launched a new online-only exhibition, with a special virtual live opening featuring participants from all over the world.
Please accept our thanks from the entire WMG team for standing with us in support of our mission. We also want to thank board members who recently stepped down for their service: Tammi Franke, Yolanda Fernandez-Shebeko, and Dr. J. Usha Raj. You will be missed! Stay tuned, as we will announce and welcome new board members this summer.

If you have not made your gift to WMG's before this fiscal year ends on June 30, please donate now. It is your involvement with and support of Woman Made that propels the gallery’s mission.
What follows is a short review of the wonderful programs WMG offered from July 2019 to June 2020—all made possible by WMG donors, grants, exhibiting artists, members, collectors, and volunteers! Please join us as we look forward to another year of amplifying the voices of women artists. 

WMG Board and Staff

Banner image: detail view of  the "Suffra-Jetting" group exhibition
(bottom): detail view of the "3rd Midwest Open" Reception


WMG Programs: July 2019June 2020

1. July 2019: “Dear Earth,” a group exhibition in partnership with Openlands and Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, and juried by Catherine Game, included work by 33 artists. The theme was inspired by Sibylle Szaggars Redford, whose performance “The Way of The Rain” was created as a “love letter to Mother Earth.”

2. August 2019: The “22nd International Open,” juried by Dolores Mercado, displayed works by 40 artists exploring conceptual and material boundaries through video, photography, mixed medium assemblage, collage, painting, and sculpture.

3. September/October 2019: Forty-three artists who use paper as their primary medium exhibited their work in "Show Your Paper,” juried by New York gallerist Kathryn Makel. Included in the exhibition were paintings, drawings, prints, collages, and paper constructions, both in two- and three-dimensional forms. 

4. November 2019: Woman Made Gallery presented “Truth as a Contested Concept,” an exhibition juried by Indira Freitas Johnson. Included were works by 44 artists, including 16 artists from Illinois. The juror was interested in creating a dialogue around what we consider truth to be.

5. December 2019: The “Small Works Members’ Show,” an exhibition juried by members of WMG's Program Committee, included works by 100 WMG artist members. On view were two- and three-dimensional pieces in a variety of media, including painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and photography.

Installing "Dear Earth"

Juror Dolores Mercado (right) + friends

Kipp Academy student visit

Dorothy Straughter next to her work

Gina Lee Robbins next to her work
Betty Jane Lau (right) with family and friends next to her Work in the "Truth as a Contested Concept" exhibition.
6. January/February 2020: The “3rd Midwest Open,” juried by Mia Lopez, included 32 works by 27 artists. In her juror statement, Mia Lopez wrote: “I was inspired by WMG’s decades of supporting female-identifying artists through refreshing and inclusive exhibitions. Though the selected artists represent a wide variety of perspectives and approaches, they are unified via thoughtful consideration of form and content.”

7. February 2020 Juried by Donna M. Meeks, "WCA’s Intersectional History” exhibition explored the ideas surrounding the experience of intersectionality through artworks and asked creators to challenge dominant narratives of history through multigenerational, visual storytelling.

8. March 2020: From 300 works submitted by female-identified artists, Malika Jackson chose 43 pieces by 39 local and international artists for “Suffra-Jetting,” an exhibition inspired by Candace Hunter. Works were emotional and deeply personal, sharing the female experience and addressing a myriad of topics, including motherhood, inequality, racism, spirituality, and more.

9. June 2020: With most of the world under orders to shelter in place and practice social distancing, WMG hosted “TOUCH, A Virtual Exhibition,” with works by 180 artists from 13 countries. The curator, Gina Lee Robbins, selected works that convey the myriad ways we use touch to communicate with ourselves, others and the world around us, and how we respond emotionally to its presence or absence. Among these are representations of comfort, healing, tenderness, love, control, pain, fear, grief and loss.

Artwork by Simone Quiles

WCA Intersectional History

Artwork by Lisa Venditelli

Artwork by Susan Lenz
"Poets from the Midwest" with (right to left) Virginia Konchan, Susanna Lang, Johanny Vázquez Paz, 
Catherine Esther Cowie, Ricki Cummings, and Patricia Clark in front of artwork by Pamela Callahan. 

Other WMG Programs
Other FY 2020 programs included inspiring Artist Talks and Pop-Up Shows, as well as Literary Events curated by Nina Corwin and documented by Kurt Eric Heintz and Jennifer Steele, who served as WMG's Literary Outreach Coordinator. We thank WMG’s Literary Events Team and all our poets and event contributors for their amazing work.

On November 9, artist Elena Aguirre Sznajder exhibited more than 40 of her hand-built ceramics at a Pop-Up Event hosted by Woman Made Gallery. Sznajder was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she taught literature. In Chicago, she taught in an adult education program in the Latino community at the Dorothy Stang Popular Education Adult High School. In 2005, she discovered the world of clay and worked out of Lillstreet Art Center, opening a new outlet for her self-expression. Nature, the sea, the Earth, and our interconnected existence have been the recurrent themes in her life and clay sculptures.
On November 16, 2019, artist Dorothy Straughter presented a conversation on “Personifications of Truth,” focusing on facets of women through the ages while also exploring historic truths. Beginning with Harriet Tubman’s truth journey, personified by her distinctive headdress, Straughter examined the impact that women have made on the planet and its social, emotional, and financial areas.

(bottom left to right: artwork by Dorothy Straughter and Elena Aguirre Sznajder)

Yes, We Always Need Support

Support received through grants, individual donations, and memberships is essential. By advocating for and presenting the work of women artists via compelling and professional exhibitions, Woman Made Gallery inspires dialogue about issues that matter to us all. Your contribution, at any level, keeps the conversation vibrant. Please think of Woman Made Gallery as we celebrate 28 years of remarkable programs that allowed 8,500+ artists to show their work in more than 430 group and solo exhibitions.

Please make your gift in celebration of Woman Made Gallery’s 28th Anniversary Year here or join WMG as a member.

If you have made a gift already this year, and if you are a current member
—thank you!


2150 S. Canalport 4th FL, Chicago, IL 60608 
312.738.0400 | |
Gallery Hours: Thur-Fri 12-6 pm + Sat-Sun 12-4 pm

Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization founded in 1992. Its mission is to support, cultivate, and promote the diverse contributions of women in the arts through exhibitions and other programs that serve, educate, and enrich our community. We rely on membership contributions and individual donations to create the programs that support our mission.


Current and past support for Woman Made Gallery includes grants from The Arts Work Fund; The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund; The Illinois Arts Council Agency; The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; and the generosity of its members and contributors. We thank our Art Angel, an anonymous donor who contributes generously through BMO Harris Bank.

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Woman Made · 2150 S Canalport, Ste 4A3 · Chicago, IL 60608 · USA